School Snow Delays for Cold Weather
Today my son’s school has a three hour delay. You read that right: a three hour delay. It is 10° F outside, with a windchill factor of 0° F. Sure there’s no snow on the roads, but it’s frigid.
There are so many people complaining on Facebook. Why do schools need delays? It’s not that cold! We used to go to school in the icy winter air! This is such a disruption to my schedule! Why even bother sending them to school? It didn’t even snow!!
I’m in the minority, but I am totally okay with school snow delays for cold weather. Here’s why:
- Potential for frostbite at bus stops and on the way to school. While many kids are dropped off by parents, including my own son, there are also many kids who need to wait at bus stops or walk to school. Sure, they can bundle up to protect their skin, and many of them do, but what about the kids who don’t have or can’t afford an actual, warm winter coat and not just a hoodie? What about the kids don’t have gloves or hats that will keep their skin protected? Thin, dollar store gloves and hats that only cover the tops of the heads don’t count. I’ve used those thin gloves outside when shoveling snow, but the air just seeps right through them. Frostbite can happen in 30 minutes in frigid temperatures, and little kids lose heat a lot faster than adults.
- Icy roads, icy sidewalks. Untreated or poorly treated road surfaces can have ice and even black ice in frigid temperatures. A bus full of kids traveling on those roads can hit a patch of ice and crash. Icy sidewalks can cause a student to fall and injure themselves.
These are two things school districts consider when there are frigid temperatures in the forecast. They are thinking about the health and safety of your students.
But do you want to know another big concern of theirs?
Lawsuits from injuries sustained from accidents, falls, health issues stemming from letting the kids go to school on schedule.
Sad, isn’t it? Let’s say Little Johnny gets on his bus and the bus kits a patch of ice and causes a major accident. Who is Johnny’s parents going to blame? The school district.
Let’s say Little Sally slips and falls on a patch of ice on her way to school and breaks her arm. Who’s to blame? The school district.
Who foots the bill when a school district is sued? We taxpayers do. I realize not everyone is going to jump on the lawsuit bandwagon, but the threat is there, and I for one do not want to pay more in school taxes, thank you very much.
Why didn’t school districts delay as often when we were kids? Less lawsuits. Think about it.
But let’s get back to the kids. In our area, there are many kids living in poverty. Again, back when we were kids it wasn’t as bad, but it has gotten worse. There are many kids who come from homes where parents don’t act as parents should. Consider that these kids don’t always have the resources necessary to properly dress for the cold, frigid air. They don’t always have a nice warm car to drive them to school or a bus stop near their house.
If they were your kids, wouldn’t you want a delay for them so that the air has a chance to warm up from the sun a bit? Wouldn’t you want to give the ice a chance to melt?
I totally understand how it can disrupt your schedule. I get that you get frustrated, thinking that your kids will only be there for a few hours, so what’s the point in sending them?
I was a teacher. I can tell you that the kids need to be in school. They shouldn’t miss extra days because you don’t think it’s necessary to go. Unless they are A++ students who are ahead of the game and fly through school without needing any assistance whatsoever, they need to be in school for the lessons and activities. Otherwise, they will be a day behind and will have to make up the missed work some other day. That can add more work to their already heavy workload, especially if your kids are in middle school or high school.
Do you want to do that to them? Please send them to school, even on days with delays.
Let’s just all be okay with delays. Give the air a chance to warm up for the kids. Give the ice more of a chance to melt. Give the buses a chance to warm up. Give the morning rush hour a chance to clear so the buses can take their time and not rush, avoiding getting into an accident. Give the kids the chance to be in school, to learn what’s necessary to continue on learning tomorrow.
It’s all for the safety and well being of the kids, and I’m totally okay with that.